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Speaker: Party Central, structures and silos

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  • 3410,

    [Just to kick-start the System thread...]

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    I imagine we'll find out who is at fault sometime after the election. I imagine they'll blame council employees rather than government ministers when the dust settles though. What a botch-up. Our biggest ever, most important event apparently. Will we face the same scrimping attitudes and lack of accountability when it comes our water, sewerage and rubbish distribution from the CCO-controlled councils (for that seems to be the Super-City reality so far)? If they can get it this wrong, then what's next? Great post!

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 371 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    I hope this is the crisis that moves Auckland away from indealogical to practical solutions before something worse occurs.

    Thanks Sacha.

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    There are obvious coordination failures

    Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but what chance do we have of coordination success when each CCO has their own agenda, and apparently only "big picture" direction from the actual council?

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Minister McCully's official statement about the new expanded arrangements also mentions working with the Waterfront CCO.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to 3410,

    what chance do we have of coordination success when each CCO has their own agenda, and apparently only "big picture" direction from the actual council?

    That and other thorny questions were considered by the Auckland Royal Commission and while the Auckland Transition Agency was implementing the current government's response.

    The Rugby World Cup having its own separate legislation added another coordination mechanism for the tournament delivery.

    Can o worms..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    However, putting it right gives a chance to work closer together and to forge a more united purpose.

    Which is why Len Brown's approach to the situation is infinitely superior to McCully's. McCully appeared interested only in the political optics, not on working with all the interested parties to solve the problem.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • RiverHowe,

    If all goes well from now on it will all be because of McCully's stepping in.
    If it goes wrong again it will be the fault of the Mayor, or a CCO - not McCully.
    Bet ya!

    Golden Bay • Since Nov 2006 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    If efficiency were the only criteria, NZ doesn't need local government. We have less population than many cities, and could run all services and regulation on an NZ-wide basis.

    The reason for local government is to provide accountability. Different communities have different wants and needs. For real democracy, communities (which might not even be geographical) have a right to decide on matters that affect them at their own level - not have these decisions imposed from above.

    Of course, there are areas where a community's decisions can impact those outside. If a wealthy area were to opt out of service provisions (as happens a lot in the US - see Beverly Hills) then that impoverishes other communities.

    Is the RWC one of those wide-impact areas? I'd say not. If Auckland wants to make a hash of it, people from outside the city can choose to participate elsewhere. If Aucklanders don't like the way their councils efforts have turned out, they get a remedy at the ballot box.

    Which says to me that central government should get out and leave Auckland to sort it, or not.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I agree with Herald columnist Brian Rudman about the core planning failure, which he points out was peer reviewed and had the input of government agencies.

    Over two or more years of planning, no one asked the obvious: if we invite everyone in Auckland and the wider world to join us on the Auckland waterfront for the party of the century, how many are likely to turn up?

    Ateed says it was starting to get a bit worried a few days before the cup opening, but that didn't stop it continuing with an advertising campaign encouraging people to the waterfront festivities.

    The various delivery failures on the day are undeniable and we are so lucky that a tolerant crowd avoided major harm amidst all the joyful celebration.

    Highlighting these shortcomings in no way supports Mr McCully's hairy-chested accusation that Auckland Council had "dropped the ball" and he had to assume control.

    He and his officials have been involved in every step of the planning. He and the Prime Minister kept encouraging the world to come to Party Central. Indeed the Prime Minister coined the term.

    The truth is, everyone dropped the ball.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Yule Guttenbeil,

    This situation is really bizarre, and its over-complexity is truly absurd. Organizing a large event is not rocket science, and the party central/transportation failures are a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth.

    I am in Melbourne at the moment and watched the Storm play the the Knights at the new AAMI Stadium last sunday. There are 5 stadiums all directly next to each other (MCG, Olympic Park, Rod Laver Arena, AAMI Stadium and the Hisense Arena), serviced by the same train and tram stations. The Game finished at the same time as an AFL game at the MCG. Altogether around 70,000 sports fans spilled out of the two stadiums to catch the same trains and trams. Yet the entire crowd moved at a brisk pace, and we managed to catch the first train that came to station. If you were at the station 30 Minutes after the games finished, you wouldn't have known there had been two large events that day.

    I have also been to the Australian Open, which would attract a similar sized crowd to what was at Party Central (if not more) and experienced no crowd issues. It is obvious that all the potential issues of having large crowds concentrated in once small area were dealt with at the planning stages, and that planning to cater for more people than might be expected is a safer option than hoping existing infrastructure will cope.

    I don't know what it is about NZ governance in general, but it seems to be obsessed with a top heavy approach to every issue. Rather than simply identifying an issue and having clear and unequivocal delegation to one organisation responsible to deal with it, there seems to be an unspoken assumption that every time a new sub-issue is identified it needs to be dealt with by a different or new authority.

    Also, what does it say about our democracy when accountability for such an epic cock-up is so diffuse that no-one can be truly held accountable? The people who are ultimately held responsible will inevitably be the result of political jockeying in the media. What a joke.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Yule Guttenbeil,

    I am in Melbourne at the moment and watched the Storm play the the Knights at the new AAMI Stadium last sunday. There are 5 stadiums all directly next to each other (MCG, Olympic Park, Rod Laver Arena, AAMI Stadium and the Hisense Arena), serviced by the same train and tram stations.

    Melbourne is the textbook example of doing that right. It's not so much about systems on the day as there being infrastructure to serve big crowds.

    I remember being there years ago when the road from Flinders Street station along the river towards the stadiums was being permanently closed and turned into a pedestrian concourse.

    And I thought: like that will ever happen in Auckland.

    The thing is, now it does have to happen. And soon.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Graham Dunster,

    Something that seldom seems to be noted is that McCully and Key are both Auckland MPs and yet seem to have no loyalty to their electorates, let alone to the city as a whole. Baffles me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2009 • 184 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Graham Dunster,

    Well, Helensville is centred on a town 90 minutes drive from Auckland, so is only partially an Auckland electorate. Both seats are National fiefdoms in almost any circumstance - any human candidate could win, in fact any earthly creature would stand a reasonable chance. (I am aware of Dr Brash's exceptionalism in this regard).

    This just illustrates the fallacy that electorate MPs are in any way more accountable than list ones - Key & McCully have guaranteed seats in parliament whatever happens to their local popularity, or that of the party.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Melbourne is the textbook example of doing that right

    A first port of call? Or perhaps getting the best advice is seen as secondary to ensuring that advice comes from within the borders. Christopher Dempsey on Getting contestable advice (from the other thread):

    Short answer – we can’t. Hard to do in a small country where the professional elite knows everyone else. This can be a problem.

    _____________________________________________

    Also, what does it say about our democracy when accountability for such an epic cock-up is so diffuse that no-one can be truly held accountable?

    I wouldn’t call it epic, but there were a couple of cock ups for a few hours last Friday. Auckland public transport situation is a mammoth long term issue that has been swept under the carpet by successive leaderships for my entire life. No knee jerk reaction or insulated planning policy will compensate for a widespread lack of wherewithal and consideration of our futures.

    When a prominent member of society who molested his child gets off scot-free citing alcohol as the cause, their name and the victim’s name suppressed in the guise of protecting the victim, gets minimal media coverage. Meanwhile here we have 2 and a half threads about trains, pain and autoreplies, a case could be made that you have exactly the leaders you deserve, that you have earned and that represent you to the hilt.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Glenn Pearce,

    Melbourne is the textbook example of doing that right. It's not so much about systems on the day as there being infrastructure to serve big crowds.

    Well we had someone from Melbourne running the show but that didn't seem to help

    http://www.connexion.co.nz/acl_business_conference_2011/key_note_speakers/rachael_dacy

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 504 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Glenn Pearce,

    I'd encourage not personalising this. There were experienced people in key roles here who had successfully delivered the Commonwealth and Olympic tournaments in Australia.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Mike,

    Len Brown v Murray McCully......it really is a classic example of the dooshbag vs turd sandwich scenario. Although Murray could definitely be described now as both a turd sandwich and a dooshbag, among other things.

    The funniest thing I've seen in a while was at 330pm last Friday at the gates of Queens Wharf. There was one stressed out man, with a megaphone, standing on top of a shipping container, yelling "The Whole World is Watching!!!" as he tried to marshal a crowd of 50,000+ bewildered people....and then we went on and had a great night.

    Since Sep 2009 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Withers,

    There is little that is positive or good in "I told you so"....but sometimes it does need to be highlighted that there are people around who said months ago that 30 years of under-investment in Auckland's public transport would likely be rewarded with system failure during the Rugby World Cup. Which is a serious shame. Such an obvious and predictable gap in the infrastructure should have been addressed as a primary priority.

    But it wasn't...and is unlikely to be by this government. Instead, they will likely use last Friday night as a reason to push their more roads, more sprawl, more buses agenda.

    That will run aground on the effects of Peak Oil in the not too distant future...and we'll get to say "We told you so" yet again.

    The real problem is that a huge chunk of voters don't know any better than the people that elect.....and Friday night the guilty and the innocent were all punished together not not electing people who actually know how to do this stuff right.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 312 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Melbourne's sporting precinct is awesome, but it's worth acknowledging that it's in a city with 4 times the population of Auckland. The train system is well developed, and serves that area with 2 stops, one of which is Richmond Station, with ten platforms, designed as a major commuter hub/exchange. Many was the time I commuted through it, and saved 5-10 mins here or there, just by getting off one train and getting onto another, so frequent were the trips through there, serving the vast sprawling Eastern suburbs, as it pumped millions of people into the city every day. To serve the sporting precinct is almost an afterthought to what it does every working day.

    Auckland's rail is hell and gone from this setup. Even if it were twice as developed, and we had a city loop, it would still be less than half as developed as Melbourne.

    Also, huge numbers of people live within walking distance of that precinct, since inner suburban low rise is deep there, and it's not very far from the city centre. A large portion of any crowd to there has actually walked. And Melb is by no means devoid of the automobile, with colossal development of motorway networks.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    The failure of the RWC Party Central Opening Party is well covered in recent posts – re the planning, resources and venue.

    The problem essentially starts with Key inviting all of Auckland, the rest of NZ and the world to the party of the century and then failing to see that it is delivered.

    Like so much of Key's initiatives - they are an ill formed ideas with not much to back it up – other examples are lifting wages to catch up with Australia, the Cycle way, the recovery of the bodies of the Pike River Miners and it goes on and on.

    Key spouts laudable goals though his government never produces or implements the strategy to back any of them up – the overriding criticism in “A goal is not a strategy”.

    It is likely the only policies that Nats will execute effectively is the sale of state assets, (which is to our long-term detriment) and putting the boot into the poor (the working poor and those on welfare)..

    The howling from the Right Wing Media on Monday for Len Browne’s resignation were disgusting – you can imagine how hard this last weekend and early week have been for Len Browne trying to work to solve a problem with a pack of wolves that are vying to slash his throat.

    Key will look at his terms as Prime Minster as a growth experience – he has demonstrated to me he lacks the depth of life experience relevant to be PM. He does not grasp what it is like to be someone raising a family on the minimum wage, the grieving family and friends of a Pike River miner, or anyone else who is not a privileged member of the power elite.

    When I saw his grinning face walk out to stand alongside the All Blacks for the one minute of silence I wanted to wipe that grin of his face with the back of my hand.

    What we are experiencing is the pain of Key growing up in public.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to DexterX,

    AMEN.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to DexterX,

    What we are experiencing is the pain of Key growing up in public

    I fear you over-estimate his capacity, but otherwise +1 from me.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2937 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to DexterX,

    Key will look at his terms as Prime Minster as a growth experience – he has demonstrated to me he lacks the depth of life experience relevant to be PM. He does not grasp what it is like to be someone raising a family on the minimum wage, the grieving family and friends of a Pike River miner, or anyone else who is not a privileged member of the power elite.

    This brings to mind Jared Diamond’s theories on isolated elites that cotton wool themselves from the problems of the outside world.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to DexterX,

    Peter Principle personified...

    What we are experiencing is the pain of Key growing up in public.

    Just so long as he is meeting all the National Standards marks...
    ...what could possibly go wrong?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

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